Upon returning to the Washington Redskins from a third drug-related suspension in May, Tanard Jackson expressed a desire to move past the demons in his life and continue on with a football career that had been pockmarked by poor choices.
Now, it appears Jackson won’t get that chance. The free safety was again suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Wednesday for a violation of its policy on substances of abuse — a punishment that will likely end his career.
Jackson, a Silver Spring native who turns 29 later this month, has now committed at least five violations of the league’s drug policy since being drafted out of Syracuse by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2007.
According to the collective bargaining agreement, players are not suspended for policy violations until their second positive test, which, for Jackson, happened when he missed the first four games of the 2009 season.
He also was suspended for a calendar year after the second week of the 2010 season, and, after signing with the Redskins in 2012, he was suspended indefinitely when rosters were finalized that August.
It wasn’t until this May, 20 months and two seasons later, that Jackson was reinstated by commissioner Roger Goodell. The Redskins signed him to a new one-year, $730,000 contract days later — they had retained his rights during his most recent suspension — and following a workout on May 29, he said he felt “blessed” to be reinstated.
“It’s a great feeling … [being] away from something you love for two years and to have those that believe in you bring you back to an organization and just to give you an opportunity,” Jackson said at the time.
It’s unclear when Jackson failed the drug test. Aside from a 27-word statement announcing the suspension, a league spokesman declined comment. Phone messages left with Jackson, his agent and his business manager were not immediately returned.
Jackson has not played in a regular-season game since Jan. 1, 2012, and he appeared in three preseason games for the Redskins in 2012 prior to his suspension. He has not played in all 16 games since 2008, when he finished consecutive seasons as the Buccaneers‘ starting free safety.
In addition to Jackson and Clark, Washington has six other safeties on its active roster, including Bacarri Rambo, Phillip Thomas and Trenton Robinson, all of whom were with the team a year ago.